Man gets 3 years' jail for sword attack on pub boss

A married man who was upset with a pub manager for supposedly bullying his girlfriend, a pub performer, stabbed him with a sword, causing part of his small intestines to fall out of his abdomen.

Yesterday, Koh Ah Chwee, 51, was jailed for three years for the attack. He admitted to stabbing Mr Chiar Kok Soon, 36, with a 57cm-long sword that had a 35cm-long blade, but claimed trial to causing grievous hurt because he denied slashing Mr Chiar's left hand during the assault.

Koh's sentence will start after he completes a 45-month jail term which was meted out in March after he pleaded guilty to seven unrelated charges: a count each of rioting and having a weapon, two drug-related offences and three counts of criminal intimidation.

The sword attack took place at G4 pub in Kitchener Road on Nov 28 last year. Koh had gone there just before 10pm that night with the weapon in a large box.

When a pub employee asked him about the box, Koh said it held an umbrella. Shortly after, Koh told the pub's operations supervisor, Mr Chee Mun Leong, 49, his Vietnamese girlfriend, Ms Tan Thi Hoa Vinh, had been mistreated by pub customers and bullied by Mr Chiar.

Later, he took out the sword and, when Mr Chee asked what he was doing, Koh replied in Hokkien: "Walk away or I will slash you." Mr Chee did as he was told.

At about 10.30pm, Koh confronted Mr Chiar in the pub's smoking room. The latter placed a bar table between himself and Koh for protection but a scuffle ensued and Koh stabbed Mr Chiar once in his abdomen.

The victim placed his arms in front of his body to defend himself, but was slashed on his left hand.

Koh left the pub with the bloodied sword and drove away in his car. The assault was captured by closed-circuit television cameras.

The maximum punishment for causing grievous hurt with a deadly weapon is 15 years' jail with a fine or caning. Those above 50 cannot be caned.

Koh's earlier offences included taking part in a group assault on Oct 14, 2013, outside Club Gossip at St James Power Station. During that attack, Koh stabbed a man in the back with a fishbone amulet, which got lodged in his back.

On June 9 last year, while out on bail, Koh also threatened his wife, teenage daughter and niece with a stun device. He said: "Three of you can die together, then I'll kill myself." When arrested, he admitted to threatening his wife with a hammer eight days earlier. His urine tested positive for an illegal drug.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'Man gets 3 years' jail for sword attack on pub boss'. Print Edition | Subscribe